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1 Hour Cinnamon Rolls

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Make delicious, soft, and flaky 1-Hour Cinnamon Rolls smothered in tangy cream cheese frosting! These homemade cinnamon rolls rise up in no time for a quick and easy breakfast.

A cinnamon roll topped with cream cheese frosting on a plate.

Quick and Easy 1-Hour Cinnamon Rolls

We love baking up a batch of fresh homemade cinnamon rolls on a weekend morning and smothering them with tangy cream cheese frosting. The kids get involved, and it’s just so much fun (and downright delicious, I think it goes without saying). 

This is a quick version of my family-favorite overnight cinnamon rolls, which I’ll make every year around the holidays. When it comes to everyday baking, though, sometimes there just isn’t the time for a two-day, multi-rise cinnamon roll excursion!

That’s where my 1-hour adaption comes in. It’s the closest you’ll get to instant cinnamon rolls. This recipe uses instant yeast, and there’s one rise instead of 3, so these cinnamon rolls are ready in a fraction of the time. 

A cinnamon roll cut in half on a plate.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

As much as I LOVE my Mama Girl’s recipe, you just can’t beat the convenience of a 1-hour rise! These fluffy, low-effort cinnamon rolls are the ultimate lazy baker’s treat. This recipe is:

  • Irresistibly soft and delicious. You won’t believe how melt-in-your-mouth, soft, and tender these homemade cinnamon rolls are.
  • Quick. This cinnamon rolls recipe is the best way to have fresh, flaky buns on the table in half the time! It’s great for weekends or easy afternoon baking.
  • Easy to make. There’s only a single rise involved and minimal kneading.
The ingredients for 1-hour cinnamon rolls.

Cinnamon Roll Ingredients

Below are key ingredients you’ll need to make the best (and quickest!) cinnamon rolls ever. Don’t forget to scroll to the recipe card for the full amounts.

For the Cinnamon Rolls 

  • Milk and Butter – Whole milk is the best in this recipe. Whole milk and unsalted butter add a good amount of fat, for softer, more decadent rolls. However, if you have 2% milk, this will also work in a pinch.
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Egg – It’s a good idea to let the egg come to room temperature beforehand.
  • Flour – I highly recommend sifting your all-purpose flour before you start, to make sure it’s free of any clumps.
  • Baking Soda, Baking Powder, and Salt – The combination of baking soda and powder helps the dough bake up into a fluffy, tender roll.
  • Instant Yeast I use instant yeast for these quick cinnamon rolls, and this type of yeast doesn’t require activation beforehand.
  • Brown Sugar and Cinnamon – To make the cinnamon sugar filling. I prefer to use light brown sugar, but regular brown sugar will also work. 

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Cream Cheese – Full-fat cream cheese yields the creamiest frosting. Allow it to come to room temperature, so it’s easier to combine.
  • Powdered Sugar – You’ll sift the powdered sugar for best results
  • Liquids: butter, milk, and vanilla extract

How to Make Cinnamon Rolls

These 1-hour cinnamon rolls are the best to make up on a weekend morning. The whole house smells like a bakery and the rolls come out delectably light and flaky! Let’s dive into how to make these easy breakfast rolls. 

Step 1: Make the Dough

We’ll start by combining and preparing the dough for our cinnamon rolls:

Warm the Milk and Butter: Heat the milk in the microwave, until it reaches 110°F-120°F, then dissolve the sugar. Next, microwave the butter until melted and leave it to cool.

Combine the Ingredients: Whisk together the dry ingredients, yeast included. Stir in the melted, cooled butter along with one egg, then beat the mixture for a minute and finally, stream in the milk mixture and beat for another 5 so minutes on medium speed until a ball of dough forms. You may notice it sticks to the sides of the pan a little bit, but that’s okay.

Knead and Roll: Flour your countertop or workstation and turn out the dough. Knead the dough until it’s nice and pliable, you shouldn’t need much. Next, you’ll press and roll the dough into a large, flat rectangle. Mine is 14×18 inches. It should be at least ¼-inch thick

Step 2: Fill and Bake the Cinnamon Rolls

Next, it’s time to fill the dough with cinnamon sugar and roll it up for baking. Here’s how you do it:

Add the Filling: Spread a layer of butter over the dough rectangle. Whisk together the cinnamon and brown sugar, then sprinkle the filling over the butter, leaving a half-inch uncovered along one of the long edges (this is the side you’ll seal the log with once it’s rolled up). Use your fingers to press the sugar into the butter. 

Roll and Cut: Roll the dough up into a tight log, using the buttered edge to seal it closed. Next, use a sharp knife (or floss) to cut the long log into 12 even-sized rolls.

Rise: Once the dough is cut, arrange the cinnamon rolls in a greased or lined baking dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and leave it to rise somewhere warm for an hour or so. This could take an additional 30-60 minutes depending on how warm it is in your house.

Bake: As the roll have finish rising, preheat the oven. Bake at 375ºF for 20 to 24 minutes. When the cinnamon rolls are lightly golden, take them out of the oven and leave them to cool a bit before you frost them. 

Step 3: Frost the Rolls

Last but not least, it’s time to smother your freshly baked cinnamon rolls with delicious and easy homemade cream cheese frosting:

Make the Frosting: Beat the cream cheese until smooth, then mix in the melted butter, milk, and vanilla. Lastly, beat in powdered sugar. You can adjust the thickness of the frosting by adding more powdered sugar (for thicker frosting), or more milk (for thinner frosting) as needed.

Frost: I highly recommend frosting the cinnamon rolls while they’re still warm. Drizzle or smear over the frosting, then serve!

A spoon drizzles cream cheese frosting over top freshly baked cinnamon rolls in a baking dish.

Recipe Notes

This cinnamon rolls recipe is straightforward, but there are a few key points to remember that will ensure your rolls come out perfect:

  • The quickest way to rise them: Let the rolls rise in the oven with the light on. This can help speed up the rising time if your room temperature is on the cooler side. Just make sure that you take the cinnamon rolls out before switching the oven to preheat! Another baking hack is to run the dryer for 15-30 seconds, then place the rolls inside to rise.
  • Use a glass or ceramic baking dish. Metal baking pans can cause the bottoms of the rolls to brown too fast as they bake. 
  • Make sure the pan is well-greased or lined. Coating the baking dish with a good layer of butter or shortening ensures that the rolls won’t stick as the sugar melts. I prefer to line my baking dish with parchment paper, as it makes for a quick and easy clean–up.
  • Use a serrated knife to cut the dough or dental floss, as it’s the easiest way to cut clean lines. 
A cinnamon roll topped with cream cheese frosting on a plate next to a fork.

Variation Ideas

These fuss-free cinnamon rolls are delicious as is, but feel free to dress them up in any way that you’d like! Here are some easy variations to try:

  • Nuts: Sprinkle over some finely chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds before rolling up your cinnamon rolls.
  • Nutella: Make Nutella-filled cinnamon rolls by using chocolate hazelnut spread in place of butter inside the rolls.
  • Caramel: Drizzle the rolls with caramel sauce or dulce de leche.
  • Spices: Try mixing other spices into the brown sugar filling, like pumpkin pie spice or cardamom.
A cinnamon roll cut in half on a plate.

Storing Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Homemade cinnamon rolls will keep fresh when stored airtight at room temperature for up to 2 days or refrigerated for up to 4 days.

I love to warm up leftover rolls in the microwave for serving. For this reason, if I know I’ll have lots of rolls left over, I’ll store them without the frosting. This way the rolls can be reheated without the frosting melting! Drizzle leftover frosting on the warmed rolls.

Can I Freeze Cinnamon Rolls?

To freeze the baked rolls, let them cool completely and then store the rolls in a freezer-safe container or bag. I recommend leaving the rolls unfrosted if you know you’re going to freeze them. Defrost the rolls at room temperature, then frost and enjoy!

Print
A cinnamon roll topped with cream cheese frosting on a plate.

Quick 1 Hour Cinnamon Roll Recipe

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Rising Time: 60 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 rolls

Description

Incredibly soft and fluffy 1-Hour Cinnamon Rolls smothered in tangy cream cheese frosting! Made with only a single rise for a quick and easy breakfast.

Ingredients

For the Dough

  • 1 cup (236ml) milk (whole milk preferred)
  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup (48g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 ½ cups + 2 tablespoons (435g) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast

For the Filling

  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ⅔ cup (147g) light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (7.5g) ground cinnamon

For the Frosting

  • ½ cup (113g) full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) milk
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (130g) powdered sugar, sifted

Instructions

For the Dough

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the milk for about 60 seconds until it reaches 110°F-120°F. Once heated, stir in the sugar until it’s dissolved. Melt the butter and cool.
  2. In a stand mixer, combine all the dry ingredients, including the yeast. Then add the melted butter and egg. Using the dough hook, beat the on low speed (speed 1) for 2 minutes. Slowly stream in the milk.
  3. Increase the mixing speed to medium and continue beating for another 5 minutes. The dough should be in one large ball but may stick to the sides of the bowl.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Gently knead until the dough is soft and pliable in one consistent ball. Use your hands to press the dough into a rectangle and roll the dough into a rectangle, about 14×18 inches. It should be at least ¼-inch thick.

For the Filling

  1. Spread the softened butter onto the dough from edge to edge. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl, and mix to combine. Pour the sugar mixture over the butter and press into the butter. Leave at least ½ -inch of the buttered dough uncovered with sugar on one of the long edges. This is the side you’ll use the seal the log after it’s rolled. 
  2. Tightly roll the dough along the longer edge to form a log, and use the buttered edge to pinch it closed. Use a sharp knife or floss to cut the rolls into 12 even rolls.
  3. Place the rolls in a well-greased (or parchment paper-lined) 9×13-inch pan. Cover with plastic wrap and rise for 60-90 minutes in a warm place.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake for 20-24 minutes until the tops are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes, then add the frosting.

For the Frosting 

  1. Beat the softened cream cheese until it’s free of lumps. Then add the melted butter, milk, and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Next, add the powdered sugar and beat until combined. If you prefer a thicker frosting, add additional powdered sugar 2 tablespoons at a time. To make it thinner, add additional milk 1-2 teaspoons at a time. Frost the rolls while they’re still warm.

Notes

  • For 1 tablespoon of yeast, you’ll need 2 individual packets (2 1/4 tsp size)
  • Rise time: Rise time will vary depending on the temperature of your home. Sometimes rising in the oven, with the light on can speed up the process (make sure you remove them before preheating!), or running your dryer for about 15-30 seconds and then placing them in the dryer.
  • Preparing the pan: Baking dishes should be greased with butter or shortening. Lining the pan with parchment paper is my preferred method, it makes the clean-up super easy. 
  • The best pans to use: I recommend using a glass or ceramic baking dish, as a metal baking dish will cause the bottoms of the rolls to brown much faster. 
  • Cutting the rolls: It is easiest to cut the dough with a sharp serrated knife or dental floss.
  • Storing leftovers: Homemade cinnamon rolls will keep fresh when stored airtight at room temperature for up to 2 days or refrigerated for up to 4 days. Storing unfrosted is my preference so it’s easy to reheat and add fresh frosting. To freeze the baked rolls, let them cool completely and then store the rolls in a freezer-safe container or bag.
  • Reheating leftovers: Individual cinnamon rolls can be reheated in the microwave for about 20 seconds. 
Nutrition Information:
1 Roll
438
26.4 g
202.2 mg
21.5 g
56.2 g
2 g
6.3 g
71.5 mg
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: best cinnamon rolls, homemade cinnamon rolls, easy cinnamon rolls recipe

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